Week 1: Personal development planning

A personal development plan is defined – for higher education – as
a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development

(Higher Education Academy, http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/PDP.htm [Accessed 15 September 2005])

The idea of this seems to be that, particularly as very few of us will remain in any one job for long, the responsibility for professional and personal development rests with us, rather than an employer.

As always, having a plan will not necessarily mean that you achieve what you set out to do. However, you are more likely to notice and respond appropriately if your approach needs to be changed, or if an unexpected opportunity arises.

In a previous job, we had what was known as a PDR – a performance and development review – at the end of which we were expected to come away with six goals for the following year. Five were for the benefit of the company specifically, and one was personal although it had to benefit the company as well. Having an agreement with my boss as to what was expected of me, and how both parties could benefit from the working relationship, was very useful.

Being self-employed, this is something that I’ve let slide for a while, and I need to focus on it a bit more.


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